A Romanian princess and her husband, a former sheriff’s deputy, were among several people federal agents arrested in Oregon on Thursday last week in connection with an alleged cockfighting ring. Indictments unsealed in US District Court in Portland charge Irina Walker, 60, and her husband, John Wesley Walker, 67, with hosting cockfighting derbies and illegal gambling at their ranch outside Irrigon. Federal prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of the ranch. The Oregonian newspaper identified Irina Walker, also known as Irina Kreuger, as a daughter of the last king of Romania. The Walkers and four other people from Irrigon and Hermiston were to be arraigned in federal court in Portland yesterday on charges of operating an illegal gambling business.
Ryanair sacks pilot
Ryanair has sacked pilot John Goss with “immediate effect” and issued legal proceedings against him after he appeared in a Channel 4 television documentary which raised questions over the airline’s safety policy. The airline has rejected recent claims from pilots that it encourages crew to carry less back-up fuel and that threats of disciplinary action discourage reporting of safety fears. Ryanair had already instructed lawyers to take legal action against Channel 4’s Dispatches over the documentary, called Ryanair: Secrets from the Cockpit. Goss, a captain who has been with the airline for about 25 years, is a member of the interim council of the Ryanair Pilot Group.
Elvis vigil draws thousands
Elvis Presley fans from around the world made their annual pilgrimage to Graceland to pay their respects with a solemn candlelight vigil on the 36th anniversary of his death. Thousands of Presley fans carried lit candles on Thursday as they walked slowly and silently through the Mediation Garden at Graceland, Presley’s Memphis, Tennessee, home. The graves of Presley, mother, father and grandmother are buried are in the garden.
Railway to appeal order
Canadian Pacific Railway will appeal a government order to pay for the clean-up of a deadly train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last month, a spokesman said on Thursday. The Quebec government on Wednesday added the railway to a list of companies it says are responsible for the cleanup of the town where a runaway train crashed and dumped millions of liters of crude oil on July 6, killing 47 people and forcing the evacuation of 6,000 others. The order said CP had subcontracted the smaller railway involved in the crash to carry crude oil from North Dakota in 72 tanker cars to a refinery in New Brunswick. Florida-based World Fuels Services, which owned the oil, was also named in the order.
Maui beach reopened
Officials reopened a Maui beach on Thursday, a day after a shark bit off the right arm of a German visitor about 46m offshore. About 3km of beach in Makena reopened at noon after lifeguards and firefighters surveying the ocean found no sign of sharks in the area, Maui County officials said. The woman, who was about 20 years old, was snorkeling at Palauea Beach when the attack occurred on Wednesday. Bystanders on shore heard the woman scream, put her on a kayak and brought her to land, said Lee Mainaga, fire services chief at the Maui Fire Department.